SuttaCentral

Stream enterer after rebirth a stream-enter-er or on the path to stream entry?

I have an itch on this one. I have the perception to have read either a sutta or a work of Anālayo (these are as far as I recollect the only things I’ve recently been exposed to), where it is explained that after attaining stream entry, at the break-up if the body, the stream enter-er is reborn on the path to stream entry. The rebirth taken does not result in being born a stream enter-er, but thus he is reborn on the path and will certainly in that life again attain stream entry.

Is this simply a mis-memory or mis-perception or is there any EB that speaks in these terms?

My gratitude for helping me figure out this itch.

3 Likes

See Sn 2.1, parts 9, 10, 11 for a partial answer.

In 9, 10 & 11 the benefits resulting from stream entry are listed:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.01.piya.html

1 Like

It seems the definition of stream-enterer is functional?

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Householder, when a noble disciple has quelled five dangers and threats, has the four factors of stream-entry, and has clearly seen and comprehended the noble cycle with wisdom, they may, if they wish, declare of themselves: ‘I’ve finished with rebirth in hell, the animal realm, and the ghost realm. I’ve finished with all places of loss, bad places, the underworld. I am a stream-enterer! I’m not liable to be reborn in the underworld, and am bound for awakening.’

What are the five dangers and threats they have quelled? Anyone who kills living creatures creates dangers and threats both in the present life and in lives to come, and experiences mental pain and sadness. Anyone who refrains from killing living creatures creates no dangers and threats either in the present life or in lives to come, and doesn’t experience mental pain and sadness. So that danger and threat is quelled for anyone who refrains from killing living creatures.

Anyone who steals … Anyone who commits sexual misconduct … Anyone who lies … Anyone who uses alcoholic drinks that cause negligence creates dangers and threats both in the present life and in lives to come, and experiences mental pain and sadness. Anyone who refrains from using alcoholic drinks that cause negligence creates no dangers and threats either in the present life or in lives to come, and doesn’t experience mental pain and sadness. So that danger and threat is quelled for anyone who refrains from using alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. These are the five dangers and threats they have quelled.

What are the four factors of stream-entry that they have? It’s when a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, awakened, blessed.’ They have experiential confidence in the teaching: ‘The teaching is well explained by the Buddha—visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves.’ They have experiential confidence in the Saṅgha: ‘The Saṅgha of the Buddha’s disciples is practicing the way that’s good, straightforward, methodical, and proper. It consists of the four pairs, the eight individuals. This is the Saṅgha of the Buddha’s disciples that is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a religious donation, worthy of greeting with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world.’ And a noble disciple’s ethical conduct is loved by the noble ones, unbroken, impeccable, spotless, and unmarred, liberating, praised by sensible people, not mistaken, and leading to immersion. These are the four factors of stream-entry that they have.

There’s more but I think it should be read in full not exerpted.

“Mendicants, there are these four kinds of overflowing merit, overflowing goodness that nurture happiness. What four? Firstly, a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha … This is the first kind of overflowing merit, overflowing goodness that nurtures happiness.

Furthermore, a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the teaching … This is the second kind of overflowing merit, overflowing goodness that nurtures happiness.

Furthermore, a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Saṅgha … This is the third kind of overflowing merit, overflowing goodness that nurtures happiness.

Furthermore, a noble disciple’s ethical conduct is loved by the noble ones, unbroken, impeccable, spotless, and unmarred, liberating, praised by sensible people, not mistaken, and leading to immersion. This is the fourth kind of overflowing merit, overflowing goodness that nurtures happiness. These are the four kinds of overflowing merit, overflowing goodness that nurture happiness.”

1 Like

@anon57138394
Once one has attained stream-entry, one does not go backwards (so to speak), so they would not then ‘only’ be on the path to stream entry in the next life. Perhaps what you may be thinking of is that if one is on the path to stream entry in any life, they are assured of reaching stream entry in that life, at the latest upon death.

1 Like

I am not sure if I understood correctly and how much it could be connected but I remember that on the dhammawheel forum there was a big topic discussing about what usually happens to Sotapannas in the next life/s, how many times they really get reborn, where etc., and the conclusion was that Suttas or commentaries - I don’t remember now - point indirectly that it’s rather usually one life, and it’s in Deva-loka and that one probably appears there with memory about what is Dhamma, etc. - i.e. such person has Dhamma eye.

I don’t know how to find this topic tho.

Well actually, the Buddha himself had to restart.

In MN81 Gautama Buddha remembered a life going forth for Kassapa Buddha.

MN81:23.4: I myself was the student Jotipāla at that time.”

And in his present life Gautama Buddha also had to go forth yet again because he understood the first Noble Truth of suffering but did not yet have the rest of the factors of stream entry.

2 Likes

I don’t think that’s an accurate statement in the context of the OP’s question. Are you saying that the Bodhisatta had some some level of noble attainment? The fact that he had been a monk in previous lives doesn’t have anything to do with stream entry.

1 Like